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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day has come - in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, and now it's gone. But it left behind the gifts of love, family, marvelous food, cozy fires, snow - oh and yes, presents! We had a leisurely morning of unwrapping gifts and nibbling on them - since more than half of our presents to each other were luxury foods; cheeses (Mango Stilton! yum!), garlic stuffed olives, smoked oysters, even boxes of sorghum molasses from a secret source only known by Santa. Everyone got at least one book (to be expected in this librarian/author family) but I got the most, since I bought one for myself.  The big surprise, though, was this book, a gift from Mr. Mindmeld LD, who told me he just asked himself ... "Hmmm. I know mama likes sweaters, but I wonder if she would like lace knitting." How did he know this was the absolute next book I planned to purchase? 
White Christmas Bourbon Fruitcake 
The rest of the day was spent puttering and nibbling and tidying for our precious Christmas guests, BH and her girls, who come every year for the same Roast Beef with Yorkshire pudding dinner. Every year I also make little bourbon soaked cakes to give as gifts to adult friends. And every year BD complains that everybody else gets the good stuff. So this year I made a great big bourbon stuffed fruitcake for the house. We made steep inroads on it and looking at this sliced wonder I think next year I will double the fruits and nuts and make 2 big cakes. Who knew these inserted treats would sink so rapidly to the bottom of the pan. I used a different cake recipe for this one - with 7 eggs in it! That may have made the difference. But I like the cake better so .... even tradition gets a little experimentation in TheCastle. 

Another tradition is BH's bourbon balls - evidently we are a tipsy family. I have made them myself in the past but this year she did the honors for our feast day desert and you can see - they were most appreciated.

There is nothing so much fun as cousins

The forecast was for snow - and it began with the tiniest of flakes around 3:30. I had scheduled dinner for 5 o'clock so that guests could get here and home before any serious accumulation could occur - which is how it all turned out - for which we thank you both, oh great weather goddess and Christmas Spirit. 

How I like my living room to look
The reprieve of snowy showers allowed us to linger after dinner with dogs in our laps and presents to stare at and think about and even a little snowy play outdoors. My house was just overflowing with love and all that is best of family. 

sadly fuzzy but sweetly snowy cousins in the mysterious dark
After a while, the cousins had to go outdoors, to talk, to play, but most of all, to be cousins - young women entering their teens and a glorious big man cousin who isn't too far away to remember those years.

All too soon it was time to say goodnight, to wave off intrepid travelers with, fortunately, scant miles to go to get home, and to snuggle back down in our cozy winter nest ... to creep up to bed early sleep ... to dream. A Very Merry Christmas.
In the deep midwinter

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